Beyond the BackyardLake Morton

Cloudy Morning Walk at Lake Morton

Three days after Christmas, the weather forecasters promised us some sun.  It was a welcome forecast, as it had been cloudy for days.  So I got up early and headed to Lake Morton for sunrise.  I hadn’t been there to visit my swans in quite a while.  But it was another dull gray day.  You couldn’t tell when the sun rose because the clouds were so thick.  Yuck!

Juvenile Mute Swans at Lake Morton
Juvenile Mute Swans at Lake Morton

When I first stepped out of my car, all sorts of ducks came running over to me, convinced that I had brought some bread to share.  I always apologize to them and tell them I’ll bring some next time.  Then I don’t.  It’s a good thing they don’t hold it against me.

My juvenile swans were easy to spot as they waddled through the grass.  They are looking more like adult swans, but still have the dark markings of juveniles.  They were still making little noises to each other, too, much like they made on the day they hatched.  It’s so sweet to go back and visit them.

Juvie Mute Swan Head Shot
Juvie Mute Swan Head Shot

Lake Morton is a great place to go photograph Wood Ducks.  Usually Wood Ducks are a very secretive species, but the ones at Lake Morton are less skittish.  I heard their distinctive calls from a distance, and  this male didn’t mind me coming closer to take his picture.  It’s a shame there wasn’t more light on him, which would have made his colors gleam.

Wood Duck on a Dreary Day
Wood Duck on a Dreary Day

I was having issues with my flash on this morning, and after an hour or so of photographing, I was getting a little bored.  That’s rare for me – I can always find something to shoot, even if it’s just a coot!  But the dreary weather was getting to me.  Then I noticed this female Bufflehead swimming with a bunch of Ruddy Ducks.  I’ve only seen a Bufflehead twice before (at Circle B and the Viera Wetlands) and this one came very close, giving me a great chance to get some pictures.  Now I really want to see a male Bufflehead, who has much brighter colors!

Female Bufflehead Up Close!
Female Bufflehead Up Close!

I left Lake Morton and headed to Circle B to see if the activity was more interesting there.  You’ll get to read about that in my next post.

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